BANGUI, JANUARY 22, 2021 (CISA)-The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has appealed to the Security Council for more peacekeepers and equipment amid spiraling post-election unrest.
“We need an increase in our capacity in order to respond to this new threat which is destabilizing the country even further…To this end, we need a strategy to manage the mandate; a substantial increase of uniformed troops in the mission,” said Mankeur Ndiaye, head of MINUSCA January 21.
According to MINUSCA, peacekeepers from the UN mission in neighbouring South Sudan were deployed to the Central African Republic ahead of the elections, a move that boosted both capacity and morale.
He said this inter-mission cooperation will need to be prolonged for several months.
“If our requests are not heard, the response of the mission, and most particularly that of the forces, is going to do whatever it can. But troops are currently deployed over extremely large areas and as a result, the force only has limited response ability, and we cannot cover the entire territory because of the size of the country,” he said.
“This critical capacity – drones, attack helicopters and the ability to bolster Special Forces – are missing, and this affects our capacity for action and for rapid reaction.”
The mission chief also pointed to the need for MINUSCA to support the security forces, including in efforts to protect the country’s borders against transnational organized crime.
Supporting the restoration of State authority over the mining sector also would be an “ideal tool” for re-starting the economy, which would help to reduce poverty and the threat of armed groups.
Mr Ndiaye urged the international community to support the country on its path to reconciliation, reconstruction and dialogue.
“This is certainly a difficult path, but it is certainly one that can bring the country towards lasting peace…I therefore call upon the Council to examine the most appropriate measures to guarantee that MINUSCA can adapt to the new security situation.”
An alliance of armed groups, known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), launched attacks ahead of the December 27 vote, which saw incumbent President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, returned to power.